Weight of Clouds
Date: Around 1993
How much does the average cloud weigh?
In order to say how much the average cloud weighs, we would need
to know its average volume and its average density in units of mass/volume;
then mass = volume x density. Unfortunately I do not have that data, but it
is an interesting question.
According to a meteorology text I have, the water content
(density) of clouds varies quite a bit, from about 1/10 gram per cubic meter
to over 5 grams per cubic meter. It is even harder to come up with an
"average" cloud volume, as this varies even more widely than water content.
Nonetheless, let us use Dr. Topper's formula (see response #1 to this
question) to get at least a rough order-of-magnitude estimate. We can model
the cloud as a sphere of, say, 1 kilometer radius. This gives a volume of
about 4 billion cubic meters. Then if we use 1 gram per cubic meter as a
"representative" water content, we get an estimate for the mass of the cloud
of 4 billion grams, or 4 million kilograms.
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Update: June 2012